The light – yellow, diffused, and scattered – falls here everyday on the cold marble of my home. It is winter already, which means there must be places on earth now where turning on taps is a useless exercise, where a whole street wakes up early to remove the snow piling up in them, around them, snow continues piling far away from their settlements where there is no need to clear them, where the weight of snow doesn’t suffocate anyone. There must be places now where people are forgetting things one by one. Remembering an unreal ocean of fierce light, forgetting ever being there. How many places have I forgotten already? I move two chairs into the circle of warmth and wait for the evening cold to reach my skin, to end this dream. I stare at the empty chair. I draw myself sitting there, staring, as if I cannot live without an empty space beside me. What was that space once? It was something warm with skin and heart and voice. It was light in human form, it was the most beautiful life. But that empty chair in the sun, has been empty for so long it couldn’t possibly have been me who existed when it was something more than that.
Once she had a bite of my fate she became a restless ghost. She looked like all my ugly wishes staring back at me but she had a beautiful smile so it was more bearable to my eyes than to wear my own desperate words on my unsightly lips. She looked out of place, but in a good way as if she was the invitation to some place where my light won’t die. Even in her voice it was my own words that asked me to leave, that told me to love for the last time. As my shrieks danced in the empty corridors she planted a seed of eucalyptus in my palm, she covered my hand with hers, and covered our hands in dirt. She told me how, for years, only the smell of eucalyptus could calm her mind, it made her believe that there was a gentle cure to every disease that hurt her heart. As she spoke such words that were not extraordinarily sad I felt my spine become soft. I dreamt of her leaning against my back relieved of her every pain and maybe it was the only beautiful wish that has ever been born from my heart. Once I touched the shadow of her heart I grew and bloomed and learnt to be the one who waits, heals, loves, and breaks without bounds.
From the lowest branch of the falling tree I looked up and heard someone laugh.
I have been reborn thousand times after that but still as I walk on the charcoal roads lined with white tulips that never light up, as my foot slips I hear that laugh again.
I hear it when I cook food and end up staring a bit too long at the flame, when the smoke that kills, coats everything that fills my stomach.
It is stuck in my heart, the violence of the end. The bluest sky, the sweetest wind, the flying songs, and my muffled cries- crystallized as one. One tiny map, that tells no directions, forever stuck in the corner of my eye.
It plays like a record, plays hide and seek. It is a play that ends with the stories breaking into me.
He stepped down from his ‘cloud nine of the day’ as I stepped out from my house made of last drops of rain and at the intersection of fleeting memories we fell in love. That is what I tell my friends when they ask me about the moment I was tempted to end the sadness of my life.
I tell them about the words I borrowed from his lips, his borrowed tongue that helped me eat a bit more. How I taped his adjectives on my mirror so that I wouldn’t have to look at myself.
They sit with me on the table I can’t bear to share with my love. They stare at me, as I ask them what to wear, how to hide my poison, how to hide the crack at the elbow, the bruised collarbone, the split lip, the ache in my heels, my frayed wings, my broken voice and all other reminders of what love has done to me, and what more love can do, if i just let it in again.
They tell me it is all healed. They tell me it is all past. They hold their skin against mine to make me see that the cracks are all in my mind, how everyone looks just like me, how everything wrong with me is now the norm. And they laughed when I looked at them with concern.
They dropped me at the restaurant and vanished at the farthest bend of the road. As I dragged my feet towards another story that I will never get to complete, another tragedy that suited only me, I looked back and tried to think of all the things that these kind friends of mine suffered as they hoped and wished and lied to themselves. The exceptions they now considered normal, the wounds they cannot even see, the pain they cannot call pain, the love they cannot bear to leave- I tasted these facts in every spoon of artificial sweetness I fed to my mouth that evening.
On my closed hopeless eyes you placed your lips and something in me broke open. And I burst from within, from all my prisons. From all my pseudo homes I heard myself crying.
I heard the the noises of television in the heavy air of my living room die out, I heard myself breathe. I heard the knocks on my door and found all my lost selves staring at me one second, embracing me the next.
They told me it could be the blue moon, it could be the cyclone that is running wild, it could be the end of earth predicted too many times, it could be flowers-that-no-one-loves blooming in our land, it could my restlessness and fear of being left behind, it could be you.
As you sink into the couch, forgetting the nail you painted seconds before, as you look around frantically for remote, as you leave the evidence of beautiful color on my skin, I realized, that I found in myself the honesty to say out aloud, to tell you, to accept that it is probably you.
At a bus stand in front of mall (that I have never been to) I learnt how to wait and how to live with disappointments without making a big deal of it.
In the bracket of an hour, I grew smaller than I ever thought I could be. “this is what love does to you, this is what love does to all of us”, all the voices in me lied. I was again weary of the love that I had chosen and the person I had trusted (“again” – the word that showed me the real reason why it would never work out).
I stood beside strangers on the crowded bus stand, awkwardly crying. I counted these not-so-scary strangers who were trying to become one skin. I pretended that I hated to be rained on as much as they did. I pretended that I didn’t mind their warmth, that my suspicious mind was not at work again.
Hours went by, empty roads faithfully stayed empty. I became more aware of the boundaries of my body I became aware of the person who would never come looking for me, who would look at the three hour long rain and still won’t wonder what happened to me.
We all stood there, pretending to be the only human in the group of zombies who had taken over a bus stand out of boredom, who stared at the wide road, the darkness beyond, and the emptiness behind as if their eyes were made to witness only this moment. I closed my eyes and hummed something, anything that could drown the presence of everyone who knew the sound of my breaking heart now.
At a bus stand, that could protect no one, we all dreamt of the worst- of the submerged road, a rain that will never stop, the cold that would take us down for days, children forever waiting, of the lightning we could hear but not see
of a love painlessly ending and a heart that shamelessly survived.
the one thing i can’t be is honest. though there are many other adjectives that stare at me from their balconies at midnight as i walk and crawl through the dirt road, through the pool of lights, crying and shouting and breaking dreams in every home that i pass by. i hear them shaking their heads with disapproval and hopelessness. i look at their hazy shadows and try to hate them in equal measures but i don’t because they are so easy to forget. but this honesty, this honesty that people expect vexes me. this expectation makes me want to hide, run, run over their hearts all because it is so simple. all because the ones who ask me of this through their tears are not mere observers but are the ones struggling to stay close to me fighting the unnecessary sandstorm i create everyday. they are the ones who deserve honesty. they are the ones i don’t deserve. but my dishonesty is not only for this world. it is the only thing i can offer to myself as well. so again, i wake up in their arms with another lie ready on my lips. i hug them with with my true love and my false heart. i don’t try to make it right when they are in shambles again because there is no fancy way to put it, there is no beauty in what i do, there is no promise i would keep. there are only people who i leave. even when i can’t bear to miss one more person again.
It snowed all night. All night I created stars for your eyes. I bore the weight of the roof as you slept, cried, ate, smiled, memorized dial tones, stared at me like you stare at screens with static, paused expectantly as you told me the story about your friend who is filled to brim with sugar and seems bit odd when he tries to smile a little bit more always, filled me with a momentary fear of whether you saw the corners of my lips tearing up everyday.
I felt again the illusion of love breaking, its crack trying to find my spine. Again you ran to me, trying to hold me, trying to look over all the parts of me that you don’t understand.
I slept and felt the snow of years settling on me. I felt your wings fluttering around in my head. I held the hands of god in my tiny fingers and said with a smile, “make me a flower, if you can” “make me something that is beautiful in her eyes” “give me another sorrow, something simple, something that can be understood and loved by her” “let me look at her, without feeling the breaking in my heart”.
I drowned the flowers one by one. The poison of beauty now runs through the rivers on this land, they fill his backyard in every season of rain. A child with his smile drowns another boat of dreams, the flood is a field of paper, the flood is all that is left of me. She stares into me, waiting for a reflection to surface. She walks into me to see where I end.
She tells me about the boy she can’t love and the boy she can’t blame as I dissolve and submerge the red gates of her house, the garden of forgiveness, her school shoes, all roads to her friend who doesn’t smile back anymore, the spoons that remind her of hunger for farthest worlds and people.
She asks me how deep will be this pain of losing herself, how long she would have to smile through this hate. I flow into her heart, wondering, if there I could turn back to the flower I was, if the end of my hate could be the end of her pain. If I could be her answer of hope.